I had the privilege of speaking with an amazing student in our community! Nicholas just joined our community when his company got a Linux Academy for Business account! Nicholas is a recent graduate turned cloud engineer and is already helping others in their cloud journey! Read about his journey to becoming a cloud engineer and starting his career!
Tell me about your background, Nicholas! Where do you work? What do you do for a living?
I’m a recent graduate living in New Zealand, where I completed my Bachelor’s in Information and Technology and where my passion for cloud computing started. During the last year of my studies, I was required to complete a work-based project of 350 hours to be able to graduate. So, I approached one of New Zealand’s leading cloud service providers for an internship. After my project time was completed, I was offered a full-time position as a Cloud Engineer! I work for Revera in Wellington and we are merging with CCL (Compute Concepts Limited) to be the largest public cloud and IT managed services business in New Zealand. We offer cloud solutions to businesses all over New Zealand and help them in their cloud journey.
How long have you been working in this industry? Have you always been interested in working with cloud technologies?
During my study years, I was contracting at a local hospital for 6 months and I have been working with Revera for nearly a year now. I’ve always had a passion for technology and I knew during my final year of study that working with cloud technologies is where I wanted to be. I love that no day is the same, there is always something new to learn.
What kind of responsibilities do you have as a Cloud Engineer?
My current responsibilities are focused around helping clients make the first move into the cloud as well as helping those who have already migrated by giving them recommendations and providing them with answers to any questions or issues they may be having. I’m also researching and testing automation tools to help improve not only our clients’ experience in the cloud but also my team’s.
Revera also just became a GCP partner, so I recognized that as part of my work, I would be required to get Google Cloud certified – that is why this has become my prime focus. While there is not a specific learning path already set for me, I understand the importance of continuously expanding my skills for the environment that I work in. With that being said, I’ll be digging around the other content in the platform as well.
How do you think Linux Academy will help your team grow?
Members of my team using Linux Academy are currently aiming for their GCP certifications. Linux Academy has provided us all with relevant and easy to follow content to help us achieve that. It’s also good to know that if we want to expand out of GCP certifications, we have access to AWS or Azure certifications because Linux Academy has that content as well. It’s important to have all of these training options available at our disposal, it will definitely help the team grow and expand their skills. Plus, you are continuously releasing the most updated content, which I’m very excited to be a part of this community.
How does the training from Linux Academy differ from the education you received while pursuing your Bachelor’s degree?
My degree taught me skills to get industry-ready, in addition to tech-ready, while also gaining interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. Linux Academy allows me to keep those skills up to date and to train up for certifications that I may need in my Cloud Engineering role and my IT journey.
What do you like about training at Linux Academy?
When I first got my account, I spun a server up in the new Cloud Playground to see how it worked. It’s a great little area to tinker with a VM without incurring any additional costs. I’ve also been using the flashcards created by other students and I find it useful to help me get some learning in when I’d otherwise be idle. Otherwise, the Linux Academy mobile app has been very useful when I’m commuting on the train to and from work.
I’ve also really enjoyed being a part of the community. The Linux Academy community is a great place to interact with other students and Training Architects and ask questions. I’ve already congratulated a student for passing an Azure exam!
What skills do you think are most valuable for someone to get into the industry today?
I think technical skills play a role, but also good communication, interpersonal skills, and a willingness to learn are extremely valuable. Anyone can learn a technical skill with time, but if you’re not willing to learn it or you can’t communicate it to your team/client, it makes it a lot harder to apply.
What certifications or skills are you after right now?
I’m currently working towards a Google Cloud Certification with the GCP Professional Cloud Architect. After that, I hope to get my AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification, so when I was given access to Linux Academy by my workplace, I was eager to jump in.
What I’ve learned through the Google Cloud course is already helping me understand how we can get the best out of Google Cloud for our clients. It’s been really helpful in terms of helping me recognize where I could be applying certain skills. I’ve only completed part one and I have learned a lot already so I’m looking forward to seeing what I learn in other parts of the course.
I’m also learning more about Ansible and Python with the new Introduction to Python Development course. To supplement the courses that I am taking, I’m planning on doing the Hands-On Labs so I can make sure I practice and retain what I learn. I also really enjoy using the Course Scheduler for my Google Cloud courses as it helps me stay on task and keeps me on track of where I’m at with my learning.
What advice do you have for other professionals who are also developing their skills?
Everyone has their way of learning, but the main suggestion I have is to stay consistent with your training. Even if you can get in only 10 minutes a day, it all adds up in the end.
What is your dream job in the tech industry and why?
My dream job would be on the line of what I’m currently doing with a bit of consulting. I am pretty lucky to be a recent graduate and land a job I didn’t expect to get any time soon. I love being able to sit down with a client and hear how their cloud journey is going and trying to improve their experience anyway I can.
What do you enjoy most about your career now?
Being able to play with the latest tech and find ways to offer that to our clients to give them a better experience in the cloud is always exciting, and working with others who share the same passion as you is great!